Pentecost & The New Management Standards
The introduction of ISO 9001:2015 & ISO 14001:2015 have been described as the most important event since the introduction of ISO 9001
A quarter of a century ago, in December 1987, ‘ISO 9001 Quality systems- Model for quality assurance in design/development, production, installation and servicing’ was published. This was the start of a global phenomenon which saw the range of ISO management system standards (MSS) expand from environment (1996) through to business continuity (2012) and properly accredited certifications to management standards approach 1.5 million*.
So what has this got to do with Pentecost?
One Sunday (Pentecost Sunday) I was in my church at Newburn and before anyone who knows me asks, is it still standing, yes it is, its been there for nearly a Thousand years (they started building the tower in 1067), the site itself has been a place of Christian worship for over Two Thousand years and was probably a place of pagan worship before that.
Any way back to the connection between Pentecost & The New Management Standards, what prompted me to write was the sermon by the Reverend Rick Fillingham. He based his sermon on the Acts of the Apostles Acts 1-2. In the passages we are told that;
On the day of Pentecost the Holy Spirit arrives and the disciples find themselves speaking languages they have never learned. The city was packed with people who had come from far and wide to celebrate the harvest festival, many of them from different countries. The disciples opened their mouths and began to shout out in their new languages. The people in the street stopped and stared and soon a huge crowd had gathered.
“What's happening?” they asked each other. “Wait a minute,” called out a man in the crowd, “That one on the end is speaking the language of my people! He's talking about the amazing things that God has done!” “Yes!” shouted someone else, “and that man over there is speaking my language!”
Then the people in the crowd realised that the disciples were all saying the same things about God, but in different languages so that every single person in the crowd could understand at least one of them.
For a few moments nobody said anything. Then one man stepped forward and said, “I believe, I believe in Jesus.” Then another person stepped forward, and another, and another, and another. Thomas began to count as people poured forwards. By the end of that day more than 3,000 people had been baptised and become part of the first ever church and history is evidence of just how successful they were in spreading the message.
Now I am not trying to tell you that by following ISO 9001:2015 you are going to have some sort of spiritual experience far from it the point I’m trying to make is the point Rick was making if you want people to understand your message you have to use the same language as they use. The disciples were all saying the same things about God but to get their message across the had to use the language of the people they were talking to.
Also the disciples understood what they were doing and why they were doing it, One of the main clauses of the new standard is Clause 4.1 Understanding the organization and its context requires that, the organization shall determine external and internal issues, that are relevant to its purpose and its strategic direction and that affect its ability to achieve the intended outcome(s). Whilst Clause 4.2 Understanding the needs and expectations of interested parties requires that, the organization shall identify the interested parties that are relevant to the quality management system, and the requirements of those interested parties.
Understanding the organization and its context and understanding the needs and expectations of interested parties is fundamental to what you are about and what you do. When you have done that, it should give you the basis for your policies, protocols and procedures that are the mechanisms that convey your intent and expectations to the “Interested Parties” and just like the disciples you need to tell your people about it, you need to communicate the message to others communicate the dictionary tells us that communication is, The imparting or exchanging of information by speaking, writing, or using some other medium.
The Church had the benefit of the disciples who were given the ability to communicate the message to the world at Pentecost. Have you had Pentecost in your organisation yet?